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The All Lacquered Up Collection from Barielle – Part 2

Who’s ready to see the second half of the Shades by Barielle All Lacquered Up Collection? If you’re looking for more color than the neutral palette I showed in Part 1 (Falling Star being the exception) then these colors are for you!

With these polishes we’re getting into richer, more opulent tones filled with glitters, shimmers and pearls (oh my!). Check out what Elle and I came up with, after the jump!

I commented briefly on the formula in the shade descriptions yesterday as each polish applies a bit differently. With these darker hues, all the polishes are perfectly pigmented two-coaters. There is no unevenness in the consistency, they are all smooth like buttah!

Pin Up was inspired by the gorgeous tomato red lip MAC’s Gregory Arlt created for the Twinkle presentation using Lady Danger lipstick. He gave the models an updated retro look, reminiscent of the classic Pin Up girl (hence the name) or modern day Dita Von Teese. It’s a lip shade that’s just CRYING for a matching nail. We added a hint of gold fleck to add warmth and character.

Lava Rock is a semi-sheer black with red pearl that looks like a blackened plum in natural light and burns deep dark ember-y red in the sun.

You know I’m a girl that loves a good brown. One that isn’t too red or too “special dark” and Make It A Latte is just that. It’s a mid-tone cocoa with a glint of golden reflect.

What do you get when you combine the best parts of Chanel Nuit de Russie and China Glaze Blk-Bila-Bong? Blackened Bleu! It’s got all the bling of BBB with the uber-pigmentation of NdR. Packed within its semi-sheer black base is a massive amount sapphire glitter to create a polish that’s smooth, glossy and high on glam.

Since the collection spans the Fall and Winter months, it wouldn’t be complete without a fab holiday red. Enter Glammed Out Garnet, a deep wine sparkler that packs the same glitzy punch as Blackened Bleu.

I told you there would be a green and this one is a gem. Polished Princess is vivid mossy green shimmer. We wanted to go to the golden side of green with a vibrant, bold hue and I’m just so in love, love, love with it. Now I can see you reaching for your keyboard, ready to ask and no, this is NOT a Zoya Irene dupe. This is much brighter and more yellow based.
The Shades by Barielle All Lacquered Up collection goes on sale in August on For those of you that have asked, I don’t have international release info yet but I will post anything I hear.

The polishes retail for $8/ea but take advantage of their Buy Two Get One Free deal to stock up on your favorite Shades. Oh and if you sign up for email updates, you’ll get a discount code for your order.

So now that you’ll seen the entire ALU collection, what do you think? Which ones are must haves? If you missed the first half view it HERE!

OPI Matte Collection Review, Swatches & Comparisons

By on June 8, 2009
in Blue, Fuchsia, Green, Matte, OPI, Pink, Purple, Vampy, White with 84 Comments
opi matte collection, matte nail polish, opi nail polish, nail polish, nail colorWhen I got my hands on the new OPI Matte nail polishes, I immediately started swatching them on my fingers. This was my first time using a true matte polish and all I could say was, “Wow, that’s MATTE alright!” I’ve never seen anything like these before. Think about dipping your fingers in flat wall paint and that’s the look we’re talking about here fanatics. Not at all like the satin-esque finish I got from using Orly Nails For Males top coat for my matte & glossy nail art experiment. It’s like the black hole of nail polish, no light lives here.

I’ve got swatches, a full review and comparison shots for you after the jump!

opi matte collection, matte nail polish, opi nail polish, nail polish, nail colorEvery bottle of OPI Matte comes with a little tag that explains the nature of the formula, rules regarding application and suggestions on how to wear it (i.e. matte nail w/glossy tip).

It states that you should NOT use a base coat, top coat, drying drops or hand lotion. According to OPI, “because of the different formulation of the OPI Matte Nail Lacquers, it is best to wear it without a base coat and to stay away from lotions to get the best, most fabulous matte look possible.”

My theory… hand lotion will affect the finish, making it more satin looking and a base coat affects the application (streaking, unevenness, etc).

Application – This formula dries FAST. Like lightening fast so you must work quickly and meticulously. Any hesitation in your brush stroke will show as will any imperfections in your nail bed, like ridges. The polish is thick and highly pigmented but because of the difficulty in getting it smooth, I needed to do three coats of each shade.

opi matte collection, matte nail polish, opi nail polish, nail polish, nail color, la paz-itively hotWear – I experimented with the no base coat rule when I did my five day wear test. I buffed then prepped my nails using Seche Prep to make sure they were free of any oils. I applied CND Stickey base coat to three nails (thumb, middle, pinkie) and left the other two bare. I noticed that the formula didn’t flow as nicely over the nails coated with Stickey.

By the following day I already had two chips on my index and ring fingers, by day five, well you can see the disaster they were. Going out to dinner with nails like this was, um “fun.” The boyfriend just shakes his head at this point. Meanwhile, the nails with base coat showed normal tip wear, nothing drastic.

While OPI doesn’t suggest using base coat, I highly recommend it for two reasons: 1. So you don’t feel like you wasted your money on a polish that only lasts two days. 2. To avoid staining. The dark colors do stain! It may mean trickier application but it’s worth it for longer wear. Now let’s move on to the colors

Alpine Snow Matte is the polish version of painting Wite-Out to your nails. It’s chalky and blindingly bright.
opi matte collection, matte nail polish, opi nail polish, nail polish, nail color, alpine snowEven though original Alpine Snow is used as a french tip shade, next to the matte version it looks almost off white. Now because Orly Matte has a tinge of color to it, it altered the color of Alpine Snow making it more creamy.
opi matte collection, matte nail polish, opi nail polish, nail polish, nail color, alpine snowGargantuan Green Grape Matte is also very chalky and as much as I love a green, I’m not in love with this. It reminds me of a faded dried out pressed leaf. Unfortunately I don’t own the original version (I know, I know sacrilege) so I can’t compare them for you.
opi matte collection, matte nail polish, opi nail polish, nail polish, nail color, gargantuan green grapeAs much as I’m not a pink girl La Paz-itively Hot Matte is my favorite polish in the collection. It’s the shimmer in it that gets me, making the finish a bit more satin than the rest.
opi matte collection, matte nail polish, opi nail polish, nail polish, nail color, la paz-itively hotAs you can see La Paz Matte is NOTHING like the original. La Paz is a hot pink but the matte version is more rosey and deeper in hue. Both colors are actually more vibrant in person but my camera just can’t capture that.
opi matte collection, matte nail polish, opi nail polish, nail polish, nail color, la paz-itively hotI showed you You Don’t Know Jacques Matte in my second matte/glossy nail art experiment but here it is on its own. Is it just me or does it look like I rubbed dirt on my nails? I don’t hate the color but the finish just isn’t doing it for me. It doesn’t have the same uniqueness as the original (below).
opi matte collection, matte nail polish, opi nail polish, nail polish, nail color, you don't know jacques, ydkjopi matte collection, matte nail polish, opi nail polish, nail polish, nail color, you don't know jacques, ydkjLincoln Park After Dark Matte is the same almost black plum that the world has come to know and love. In most light it looks pretty black, in natural/sunlight you can see the purple undertones. It’s warmer than a flat black just like it’s shiny finish sister.
opi matte collection, matte nail polish, opi nail polish, nail polish, nail color, lincoln park after dark, lpadopi matte collection, matte nail polish, opi nail polish, nail polish, nail color, lincoln park after dark, lpadNow after seeing La Paz Matte I had high hopes for Russian Navy Matte, expecting that same slightly satin, shimmer-filled finish. But that’s not what we got. Instead it’s a lifeless blue-black hue.
opi matte collection, matte nail polish, opi nail polish, nail polish, nail color, russian navyIn this case, I much prefer the satin version using Orly Matte.
opi matte collection, matte nail polish, opi nail polish, nail polish, nail color, russian navy
The OPI Matte collection officially goes on sale in July and can be found online at our fave e-tailers and in professional salons like Regis, ULTA, Trade Secret, JCPenney.

I know you’ve weighed in on the matte look but what do you think about OPI’s version? Will you be running out to buy them?

Get The Look – Zoe Saldana’s Nails in Star Trek

By on May 29, 2009
in Celebrity, Essie, Vampy with 9 Comments
zoe saldana, star trek, uhura, lt. uhura, urura nails, zoe saldana nails, nail polish, nail color, essie, wickedI’m finally going to see Star Trek tonight. I know, I know it’s about time! I hate opening weekend crowds so I typically wait a couple weeks to see the big blockbusters. In the meantime reader AnnaAnastasia contacted me about Zoe Saldana‘s (aka Lt. Uhura) nails in the film. Zoe sports a glossy, dark nail in character and AnnaAnastasia hopes to recreate the look.

I spoke with Star Trek‘s Head Makeup Artist, Mindy Hall, to get the deets on Uhura’s vampy manicure. Find out more after the jump!

zoe saldana, star trek, uhura, lt. uhura, urura nails, zoe saldana nails, nail polish, nail color, essie, wickedMindy works with a manicurist for all her film projects. In LA, Cindy Neal, and in NYC, Gina Eppolito. To quote Mindy,
“It takes a special individual to work in the film world; professional, flexible (both physical and mental), flawless, discreet, attention to detail, works well with others, can deal with a hectic environment, and of course excellent people skills. Very mobile and always on time!

Often the makeup artist or hairstylist is also working on the actor as the manicure and pedicure is being done. We all work around each other to accomplish this. Cindy and Gina really understand this and are fantastic at anticipating what is needed as we simultaneously work around each other getting the actor ready. “

For Lt. Uhura, Essie Wicked was the color of choice. A deep, black cherry, Wicked has a berry wine base that is visible in the first coat. It applied a bit uneven so I used three thin coats over CND Ridge Out to get it perfect.
zoe saldana, star trek, uhura, lt. uhura, urura nails, zoe saldana nails, nail polish, nail color, essie, wickedMy thanks to Mindy Hall for taking the time to respond to me during what I’m sure is a very busy time for her. I can’t WAIT to see the film tonight.

Essie Wicked is available online at your favorite e-tailers and and in stores at professional salons including ULTA, Trade Secret, Regis, etc.

image credit:

Essie Winter 2008 Collection

By on January 21, 2009
in Essie, Gold, Purple, Red, Vampy, Winter 2008 with 15 Comments
As much as I would love to jump ahead straight to Spring, the gross, gray weather and piles of snow outside my door keep reminding me that it’s still Winter. Spring seems a far cry away which too depressing for words. Is one day without a visit from the plow guys too much to ask?

Before I start inundating you with Spring collections, let’s take a look at Essie Winter since most of us are still wearing dark shades and haven’t started the seasonal transition.

I must admit, Essie’s winter collection surprised me. I’ve come to think of Essie as playing it safe, targeting the conservative consumer with more reds, pink and sheers than you can shake a stick at. So to see a collection with purples and gold made me happy. Very on trend Essie!

My only disappointment was with the pigmentation. All the shades, with one lone exception, required three coats. Es no bueno! Though I was pleased to discover that, for the most part, application was phenomenal. I wasn’t sure how the first batch of shimmers in the new toluene and DBP free formula would hold up but they fared well.

Sexy Divide – let’s start out with a bang, shall we? Sexy Divide is by far my fave of the group. She is everything I want in a purple; deep and rich without crossing over to that dreaded “almost black” territory. If you buy one Essie this year, this is the ONE!

Shift Power was my problem child. No matter how hard I tried or how many times I tried, I just couldn’t get this one to work out. The application was a major pain. I so wanted to love this golden beauty but as you can clearly see, it was not a winner.

It’s Genius has these amazing ribbons of gold running throughout its deep mauve-y base. The shimmer gives it a metallic look yet it applies smooth like a shimmer. Truly a fantastic polish. It reminds me of one of my all time favorite shades, China Glaze Steppin Out.

Rock Star Skinny was as much a surprise for me as it was for reader MooeySullivan. She’s totally right. Looks like nothing special in the bottle but on the nail… Ka-pow! Luscious, deep and captivating. This browned burgundy shimmer is a “rock star” though it really doesn’t translate in photos. You have to see it on the nail to understand.

Bold and Beautiful gets the snore award for failing to wow. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with it. It’s a classic Essie creme. Nothing we haven’t seen before. Probably thrown in to appease the more classic nail gal.

There’s something about Damsel In A Dress. I can’t put my finger on it but somehow this blackened plum has won me over. It could be the subtle silver shimmer, the way it reminds me of a grape popsicle or just the fact that my purple phase is still going strong but I’m totally diggin’ it.
The Essie Winter collection is on sale now and can be found at chain salons/stores like ULTA, Trade Secret and Regis or online at and

Thoughts? I’m sure some of you have indulged by now. Which ones are your favorites?

Misa Poisoned Passion for Fall 2008

Jewel tones and vampy nail shades are carrying over from last Fall and Misa Cosmetics is putting their twist on the trend. The recently launched Poisoned Passion collection is a lineup of six rich shades. With five shimmers and one creme, these colors pack a lot of punch. They are all very lush.

The last time I reviewed a Misa collection, Love Connections, it was right after their switch to become Big 3 Free. You may remember that I was non-plused with the formula then but, I’m seeing an improvement in this new lineup. While I still had issues with application of a couple shades (Dying Love & Fatal Affair) the rest flowed quite nicely. One thing that has remained consistent is the high level of pigmentation. Each polish only required two coats.

Toxic Seduction – Let’s start out with my favorite color of the bunch. Of course it’s the green, duh! You might call the base color a blackened teal or blue-green but the hints of gold shimmer warm it up a bit. Though I wouldn’t say its a forest green. More like a franken of Gussied Up Green & Rodeo Fanatic. Regardless of how you describe it, I have just one word – WINNER! I looked for it’s closest living relative in my stash and found Poison Ivy from Nailed by Sleek UK (shown below).

A Sin Worth Committing’s base color is royal blue, like OPI Dating A Royal. No purple undertones in the slightest. It’s most definitely a superb navy shimmer however, I found that OPI Yoga-ta Get This Blue is close enough that you wouldn’t need both. A Sin Worth Committing is just a touch bolder.

Dying Love is a tricky one. Both in application and color description. I guess it’s appropriate for the punkiest color to be the problem child. Not quite jet black yet too dark to be gunmetal gray, Dying Love falls somewhere between Lippmann Hit Me With Your Best Shot and Sally Hansen Salon Black Orchid (a LE color).

Fatal Affair is similar to Misa Blueberry Glaze in that BG is a purple tinged blue and Fatal Affair is a blue tinged purple. Though the blue shimmer affected my ability to show the true color. It’s more purple in real life. Compared to one of my favorite purples, Misa Dreamy Purple, it is deeper with a red-violet base.

Forbidden Lust is a deep red based purple shimmer. Like a dark amethyst. In looking for a dupe, I found that it’s a deeper version of NYX Wild (#2 on the linked image).

The only creme in the group, Love Bite, is a vampy browned red. It’s bright berry base makes 2-3 coats necessary to achieve bottle color. I have to say that this is the one color I wasn’t all that jazzed over. As you can see below, it’s very similar to Misa Stiletto so not really a must have for me.

The Poisoned Passion collection is available for sale online at and

So fanatics, what do you think? What did you/are you buying from the collection?

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